Someone told me yesterday that they say that fritillaria michailovskyi smells foxy. I got what he meant. He wanted to make sure. You know, like sex.
First of all, major props to a working man for recognizing the flower, knowing its pain in the arse name, and for retaining this erotic bit of esoterica (or esoteric bit of erotica I suppose, depending on which team you happen to be batting for).
Secondly. As a euphemism for sexy, foxy is first rate. Sure, gents have been calling good-lookin’ ladies foxy for ages immemorial, but to have it connote not a look but a smell is to put a novel twist on the word that resonates with darker meaning when it’s used in relation to fox behavior. Think feral, think sweaty, think animal.
But. I clipped a few and stuck my nose deep up in them and… meh. They have a smell, but it’s not a musk or a funk. It smells like rot. I mean, I’m all for dirty girls, but pretty or not, this is beyond the pale. Turns out it’s a single compound to blame for the stank, a certain 3-methyl-2-butene-1-thiol, which they say has a smoke-roast stink but I sez no way unless your smoke-roast has been sitting in the sun way too long.
by the by, everything worthwhile to learn about fritillarias can be learned here.